K-Drama and Us

Today is the last day of 2016. What an apt time to write a year-in-review post for our new found hobby – K-Drama! Haha…

K-Dramas have been all the rage these year and we’ve definitely also watched a few K-Dramas on and off. However, we’ve never really been hooked. Until this year.

Before we review the dramas that we’ve watched this year, let’s first take a step back and recap the dramas that we’ve watch prior to this year.

Back in the school days, I recall Dear2 being hooked on Winter Sonata. She must have re-watched it several times, but I did not watch the drama with her. I also recall Dear2 watching Autumn in My Heart, Summer Scent, Stairway to Heaven, The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince, Jewel in the Palace.

Dramas that both of us watched together included All In, Temptation of Wife, My Love Patzzi, My Lovely Samsoon, Dr. Jin, Witch Yoo Hee, and most recently Good Doctor.

After watching all those dramas, we just didn’t get the irresistible urge to join the craze. It was more of a sporadic interest, whatever drama advert that caught our attention.

Well, that was exactly what happened earlier this year, when I heard about the good reviews about Descendants of the Sun over the radio. We decided to give it a shot. After all, catching a good K-Drama is infinitely better than watching the crap on Mediacorp.

But there was just one problem. DOTS was still airing in Korea, how were we going to watch it? All the previous dramas were watched either on local broadcast TV or DVDs that we bought.

After a quick search online, we realized that K-Dramas can be streamed online quite readily with English subs. It was also then that Dear2’s colleague introduced her to viu. That must have opened the floodgates.

There was no turning back. We were captivated by DOTS and we watched one show after another throughout the year. Even Japan Trip planning and Hong Kong Trip planning were temporarily shelved so that we could catch up on K-Dramas. Haha…

Dear2 and I are typically not trend followers. We would catch on to it only if we evaluate it to be something that we genuinely like. I guess that makes us late bloomers to the K-Drama trend, and it is really only because K-Dramas are becoming that good.

So, after watching DOTS, we watched it again. Yup, again. Next, Dear2 wanted to see more of Song Joong-ki, so we watched Innocent Man. After that we decided to catch up on some well reviewed K-Dramas and settled on My Love from the Star. That started the craze for Kim Soo-hyun, and we followed up with The Producers, Moon Embracing the Sun, and Dream High. In fact, Moon Embracing the Sun OST became my defacto music track at my office.

After that, I wanted to see more of IU, so we watched Infinity Challenge Music Festival 2015. That got us hooked on Infinity Challenge and we watched many many more episodes of it. We also liked Yoo Jae Suk and G-Dragon from the Music Festival and watched a few more episodes of variety shows such as Please Take Care of My Refrigerator and Happy Together. We also forayed into some Running Man episodes but it wasn’t as entertaining as Infinity Challenge. Some time during this, we re-watched My Love from the Star.

As luck would have it, IU would feature in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo which was conceptually similar to 步步惊心 (which happened to be another drama that Dear2 enjoyed a lot). So there’s no way we would miss this.

After this, I was on a business trip and Doctors was available on KrisWorld, so I watched around 10 episodes of it in-flight. Upon my return, Dear2 caught up and we finished the series.

Next up was Love in the Moonlight and both of us were enchanted by Park Bo-gum. We watched our first 1 Night 2 Days because of him, and right now, we are catching up on Reply 1988. Concurrently, we are watching The Legend of the Blue Sea, but it has been quite boring so far, don’t know if we’ll be able to finish watching it.

Phew~ What a year it had been. Dear2 and I have been swept by K-Drama fever, and it may well continue into next year. I think it is nice that we share a common hobby so we look forward to the late nights catching up dramas together after the children go to bed. We also have common topics to talk about, be it reading dramabeans, discussing the storylines, condemning local productions, moon-eyeing Korean idols. Haha…

Gotta go, Dear2 is waiting for me to watch Reply 1988 ep 8.

-Dear1

Our hectic weekends

Lately, our weekends have been characterized by busy schedules. And it doesn’t look like it will change any time soon. In fact, it might become even more hectic.

On Saturdays, we would wake up at around 8am. Usually, it would be breakfast followed by piano practice for Baby1. Why? Because Baby1 attends piano lessons from 11-11.30am on Saturdays. Once we return home, it would be lunch time. Lunch is usually a 1-hour affair for us. After a short rest, the children would be off to their afternoon nap at around 1pm. We still enforce nap times for both children because we believe that sleep is very important for the children’s development. During this time, it would be our turn to catch a nap ourselves, or catch up on some K-dramas. Dear2 usually starts preparing for dinner too. The children usually wake up around 3.30-4pm. Dinner is served around 5-5.30pm. After dinner would be rest, then followed by bath time. By 7.30pm, everyone should be all clean and comfy. Lately, the children have been interested in my board games, especially Flash Point. So we would spend around 1-1.5 hours playing board games in the living room. By 9pm, the children would get ready for their bedtime stories and go to bed. The adults spend a bit of time with each other before going to bed.

On Sundays, we also wake up at 8am. This morning is usually a little unplanned so we have some flexibility to do learning, go grocery shopping, etc. But, Baby2 usually need a quick morning power nap because she has ballet lessons at 1pm. Anyway, 11.30am is lunch time, and we set off for Baby2’s ballet. By the time we get home, everyone is tired and off they go for their afternoon nap. Dear2 prepares dinner. By 4pm, the children are awake and we get ready for Baby1’s ballet class at 5.30pm! We will get home around 6.3opm for a late dinner. It is probably 8pm after bath and we have a little time for board games or some other simple leisure before it’s bed time stories and bed time again.

Every so often, when piano or ballet class was cancelled, it would be a godsend for us. For that weekend, we would be able to go for picnics, attend Uncle L’s second daughter’s birthday party, go on our own holiday, etc.

This is our typical weekend schedule. And, this is not taking into account special ballet exam preparatory weekly classes that occurs for about 6 months every year. And we also intend to sign the children up for more “essential” classes such as swimming. And Baby2 is likely to want to take up piano classes as well, to be the same as her elder sister.

With just 2 children and a total of 3 classes on weekends, I’m already feeling the crunch. I can’t start to imagine how parents with more kids and more classes on weekends would feel like.

But this is life, now. Our routine will surely change with each passing phase. Just have to see the positive side of things and make the most out of what we have. For now, we usually do our weekend groceries on Friday evenings. While one child is at ballet class, we would pop over to Jurong Point for a quick Llaollao fix. Yumz!

Onwards!

-Dear1

Things we throw during our trips

We travel roughly about twice a year, so we’ve accumulated a fair bit of traveling experiences. One of the ways that we’ve been optimizing our packing is by bringing overseas items that we don’t intend to bring back (i.e. to be thrown away overseas). There are several advantages to doing this:

  1. We will have more luggage space on the return leg. Good for packing and bringing back our shopping goods from overseas.
  2. We will have less dirty laundry to handle.
  3. We tidy up our house at he same time.
  4. It is liberating. :)

So here’s a list of things we’ve thrown overseas:

  • Shoes / Slippers / Sandals – Footwear takes up a large amount of space in the luggage. Usually, I would have my covered shoes, and maybe a pair of sandals for comfort at the hotel. Depending on the situation (i.e. conference, cruise formal dining), I may need a pair of formal shoes as well. I’ve thrown away an old pair of formal shoes in France before. Dear2 have thrown away multiple pairs of sandals and flip-flops over the year (the earliest I could recall was our Bintan trip).
  • Socks – For our most recent trip to Japan, we decided to get rid of our my old army socks. So I gathered all my green army socks (7 pairs in total) and pack them into our luggage. Then, at the end of each travel day, my socks would go straight into the hotel dustbin.
  • Toothbrush / toothpaste – Packing the toothbrush was always a last minute item, the one that we would pack only after the final brush on the morning of travel. This meant the toothbrush was always wet, and also sometimes forgotten. Instead, just pack the old toothbrush early and start using a new toothbrush as home. On the last day of the trip, throw that old toothbrush away. Same thing for toothpaste, pack the old tube, and start using the new tube at home, then throw away the old tube at the last hotel.
  • Towels – Towels are big and bulky and takes up a lot of luggage space. However, old towels becomes thin and worn and not so comfy anymore, perfect for bringing overseas. And don’t bring them back.
  • Lotion / Moisturizer / Shampoo – These items frequently have non-rectangular bottles which are difficult to pack efficiently in the luggage. So, we usually bring just enough for our trip and throw away all the bottles after our last bath. This frees up lots of luggage space for our overseas shopping goodies, which usually *do* come as rectangular boxes.
  • Disposable underwear / pull-up diapers – Packing dirty laundry back into the luggage is always a problem. This is because we separate the dirty laundry from the rest of the luggage by packing them into plastic bags first. This process of packing into plastic bags implies less efficient use of space within the luggage. Also, hygiene is an issue if the dirty laundry remains unwashed for longer trips. Instead, we use disposable underwear on our trips. They are lighter, smaller, and easier to pack, and they do away with the dirty laundry problem. Cotton disposable underwears are quite comfortable. For the same reasons, we let Baby2 wear pull-up diapers as her underwear even-though she is already diaper trained.
  • Bottle brush – Another thing that we take the opportunity to throw and replace during a trip.

With these throwaways, we usually have more space in our luggage for shopping. Besides, it feels great to throw out the old stuffs!

-Dear1

Sweet and Salty Unhealthy Comfort Delights

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For some years now, Dear2 and I have been trying to eat healthily, both for ourselves and for our family. But once in a while, we also like to indulge ourselves in some happy food. Therefore, since the quota for happy food is limited, we have to be really selective of our happy food.

No point wasting stomach on lousy food.

These are some of the snacks that we’ve bought recently.

  1. Many years ago, there was a period of time when we would regularly buy 1.5l bottles of Coke from the supermarket. Andbwe found ourselves craving for more Coke when we ran out. It was then that we realized Coke can be addictive. Since then, we have not bought any more Coke for ourselves. Also, since we are trying to lose weight, high sugar drinks such as Coke are avoided. However, we make small exceptions for indulgence, such as when Granny gave us a few cans of Coke leftover from Chinese New Year gatherings.
  2. When I was at my previous job, I used to drink free Milo from the pantry daily. Sometimes, I would even make a Milo dinosaur! Unknowingly, I gained quite a bit of weight and I attribute it to the Milo. But I still enjoy Milo, especially those from the Milo truck. It’s a wonder why Milo truck produces the most consistent Milo. Even MacDonald’s makes lousy Milo at times. Recently, when a fantastic  offer from Nestle online shop came along, 2 cartons (2×24 packets) for $15.50, we just couldn’t resist ordering.
  3. I first started buying Haagen Dazs ice cream from the supermarket when it was selling 2 for $19.90. I love chocolate so naturally I took a pint of Belgium Chocolate. It was heavenly. Since then, we would occasionally try our different flavours of Haagen Dazs, but each one was more disappointing than the last. Even the Haagen Dazs ice cream stick was inferior to Walls Magnum. Well, enough of trying, no point wasting stomach on lousy food. So when a recently NTUC promotion was selling 2 for $19.85, we decided to go straight for Belgium Chocolate x 2.
  4. Salted egg flavoured snacks are all the craze these days. I really enjoyed salted egg, like in double yoke mooncakes. I also fondly remember the salted egg prawns at Whampoa Keng, salted egg crab at Tradehub 21 Kimly Seafood, and 流沙包 from Baker Talent. And I never fail to order a sample of 流沙包 whenever we ate at dim sum restaurants. But it is really high on cholesterol, and I needed to lower mine. Be selective. My colleague recently treated me to some salted egg fish skin and it was rather good. And I heard about salted egg potato chips on the radio. Turns out that they are both made by the same company. So, yesterday, while we were running errands at Ang Mo Kio (we were buying music books for Baby1), we popped by Leban HK Cafe and bought 3 cans of salted egg snacks @ $15 each. Expensive! Yummy!
    The occasional selective indulgence to keep the healthier choice momentum going. :P’

-Dear1

2016 New Year Resolutions

It’s a new year again and it is time to review our New Year Resolutions. Dear2 and I sat down to review our Year 2015 and set our new goals for 2016 over a nice Yakun breakfast at JEM. Overall, we did only so-so last year, maybe borderline on failing for the personal goals but I think we also accomplished many of our couple and family goals.

The way that we categorized our goals into personal, couple and family worked quite well, so we will keep the same format this year too. Still keeping to our SMART goal setting, here goes:

For Dear2

  1. Beauty: Same. (Do daily skin moisturizing and monthly face masks + exfoliation)
  2. Waist: Same. (Attain 28″ by year end)
  3. Exercise: Hula hoops, climb stairs, skipping rope, jogging, interval training, weights. Other than week-daily hoops, at least once per week for the rest
  4. Self Improvement: Attend a course.  To see if can use SkillsFuture $$$
  5. Cook: 1 new dish every month (including master one CNY cookie by next CNY)
  6. Give attention to people (Listen and Look; hold thy tongue)
  7. Temper: Control!
  8. Post: Same. (Write at least 1 post per month)

For Dear1

  1. Weight: Maintain weight at 66-68kg
  2. Exercise: Do daily planks (minimum 2 x 1.5min)
  3. Diet: Less sweet chocolate, eat dark chocolate instead
  4. Self Improvement: Complete my “algorithm” in Python/OpenCV, Learn Elixir
  5. Temper: Be positive even when Baby1 and Baby2 misbehaves
  6. Post: Write at least 1 post per month

For us

  1. Family Activities: Outdoors activities monthly
  2. Couple Activities: New experiences bi-monthly
  3. Hugs & Kiss: Hug and kiss Dear1, Dear2, Baby1 and Baby2 everyday
  4. Travel: 1 long (2 weeks) and 1 short (getaway) trip for this year
  5. Finance: Review finance in detail and be aware of what we can afford
  6. House: (Re-initiate house viewing from Q3)
  7. Friends and Relatives: Have quarterly gatherings with friends/ relatives
  8. Nutrition: Eat at least 1 fruit every week
  9. Couple Time: Have just Dear1 and Dear2 time every week

-Dear1 & Dear2

Bangkok Christmas Trip with Cousins

The cousins had been discussing about a trip together for several months without much progress. Finally, some time in mid Oct 2015, cousin family 2 decided that they will go ahead regardless and booked their flight and tickets. Cousin family 1 decided to join and booked their tickets too. Cousin family 3 decided not to go. Then, in end Oct, we decided to join the trip too, and so did brother. It would be our second overseas trip together with the cousins. The first was to Legoland Malaysia. This time, it would be a 8 adults 7 children 5 days 4 nights Christmas trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

The planning

Usually, we would not travel during the school holidays, much less the Christmas / New Year festive period, because the cost would be high and there would be more crowd then usual. However, some of the other cousin’s children were already in primary school, so they could only travel during the school holidays. Oh well, so be it, the fun memories of traveling with cousins would be a great addition to our life experience.

(There was another side consideration about traveling to Thailand due to a recent bombing incident there. After some thought, we decided that it would be endless to consider all the what-ifs. What we would do is to be alert during our trip and avoid crowded places if possible.)

We booked our air tickets with Cathay Pacific @ $1664.89 for 2 reasons. First, we had a superb experience with them before. Second, the departure time of 2pm was fantastic. All 3 families would be taking different flights (the others traveled by Thai Airways at a later departure time), so we would only meet up at the hotel lobby the following morning.

We booked our hotel at Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok @ $483.36. It was not for us to decide as the other families had already booked their rooms at this hotel. Since we were the last family to book our flights and hotel, our overall cost was a few hundred dollars more expensive than the rest.

As for the itinerary, we had expected the first family to confirm on the trip to take up the responsibility of planning the itinerary. Well, they did, sort of. The itinerary was very vague and the routes planned were not optimal as it involved traveling from mall to mall multiple times a day, and sometimes just for a meal at a normal restaurant that can also be found in Singapore. When reading the itinerary, it felt like they forgot about the fact that we are traveling with 7 children! Dear2 got involved in the planning and the final refined itinerary was definitely much better (but still not ideal).

The flight

For this trip, we would use the large 117L Lojel Vita that we had recently bought from Tangs using their 12% rebate promotion. It was the first time that we would travel with only 1 check in luggage for the whole family. Our worry was that it might be too big and bulky and heavy to manage. However, we hoped that traveling with 1 luggage would be much easier to handle compared to having multiple luggage. Multiple luggage meant that the adults’ hands would be occupied, leaving less hands and attention to take care of the kids.

Now that we are back, I can say that traveling with a single luggage was a good choice. It was indeed much less mentally exhausting to handle a single luggage, much easier to travel on escalators, lifts, tuk-tuks, taxis, etc.

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Baby2 was really excited about seeing the plane that we were going to board.

As for the flight, I think we will never travel on Cathay Pacific again. There were simply too many noncomplying Chinese passengers on board. Passengers standing up when seat belt sign was on. Going to the toilet during turbulence. Leaving food trays on the floor. One can literally hear the helplessness in the tone of the air crew when they try to deal with these noncomplying passengers. I, for one, do not feel safe when traveling with this kind of passengers on-board.

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Children’s meal on-board

At Suvarnabhumi Airport, we got the priority queue since we were traveling with young children, very nice service.

Day 1

Traveling by the airport rail link to our hotel was a breeze. Baby1 and Baby2 had fun with the coin like train tickets. After getting off at Rathchaprarop station, we walked about 10 minutes to our hotel. We checked in (brother would bunk in with us), then quickly got ready to go out for dinner.

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View from the Rathchaprarop station. The word Centara can be spotted near the top left corner.

We walked to this night market next to Baiyoke Hotel. We couldn’t find any suitable street food and ended up eating some simple Thai food at a cafe. After dinner, we went shopping at the night market. Brother recognized that he had been to that night market before and brought us to a stall where he had bought dresses for Baby1 3 years ago. There, we bought many more dresses for Baby1 and Baby2.

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Delicious fresh fish, soft and tender on the inside, not salty inside at all.

As we depart for our hotel, we bought a number of street food to eat back at our hotel. Although it was our first night, we shopped with the mentality at we will never see the same thing again during the trip, so it was then or never. And we were right, we really did not visit anymore night markets for the rest of our trip. That night, the soya bean milk, the salted steamed fish, the sweet corn, the pomegranate juice were all great. Yumz!

Day 2

The next day, we met up with the cousins early at the hotel lobby to begin our itinerary for the day. The first stop was the famous Pratunum Wanton Mee, and the queue was quite long. We ordered a mixture of wanton mee and the lor bak rice. Baby1 finished a bowl of wanton mee all by herself, and fast too. I suppose it was nice. I personally preferred the rice. Still, I felt it was a bit overrated.

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THE famous wanton mee stall

By the time we finished, it was already 11.25am, very late breakfast! We headed (on foot) to our next destination and our highlight of the day, Kidzania.

Kidzania Bangkok was very similar to Kidzania KL. Since we were traveling with the cousins, Baby1 went along with the bigger kids, and Dear2 would follow along to keep an eye on them. I would take Baby2 to play everything that was available to her, like the Firefighter, Artist, Interior Design, Disco, Clock Tower, Builder, Barber, and a few others. Meanwhile, the other adults escaped to do some shopping The Siam Paragon (same building as Kidzania). Baby2 took a short nap in Kidzania too.

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Kidzania fire engine. Hooray.

For the last activity before we left, Baby1 became a tomato sauce bottler and brought home a real life bottle of tomato sauce, which Dear2 just used to make tomato sauce rice this recent weekend. Yumz!

After that, it was more adult shopping at Naraya, before settling down for dinner at Swensen’s. Except that the Swensen’s served only ice cream and no main course. We had a quick dose of ice cream (cheap!) before switching restaurant to have some fusion Thai food.

Instead of taking a taxi back to hotel, the other family decided that we should walk back to hotel. Omg, it was a bad choice. It was Christmas Day and the streets were super super crowded with people despite it not being a public holiday in Thailand. We had to squeeze through the crowd at a snails pace while some of the children had to be carried for safety. At one point, we were so over stretched that the group nearly got separated. It was just an unpleasant walk, and it didn’t save much money either because public transport was really quite cheap.

Day 3

We woke up and got ready for our Damnoen Saduak Floating Market day trip. We had bought the day trip from Groupon @ $25 per pax prior to the trip. Before setting off, we went down to the streets around our hotel to hunt for breakfast. To me, the best food of the day is usually breakfast food, and local breakfast street food definitely beats any hotel breakfast.

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Street breakfast

Our bus picked us up on time at the hotel gates. The journey took around 2 hrs which was longer than expected. We arrived at the floating market and were instantly ushered to one of the boats. The boat took us along a very standard looking river route lined on both banks by never-ending stalls selling touristy stuff (e.g. hats, elephant idols, ornaments, magnets, etc). We bought a coconut from one of the boats but avoided the ice-cream due to hygiene considerations. Eventually, we bargained (achievement unlocked!) and bought a pair of floating market magnets to add to our collection. Otherwise, the floating market was disappointing, too touristy.

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Very touristy floating market

After the floating market, our driver brought us to what I thought was a boring temple. And after that, we asked the driver to drop us off at Ekkamai Mall where we had a very late Japanese Ramen lunch.

After lunch, we went to Snow Town within the same mall. I have not been to our own Snow City before but Dear2 said that they were very similar. The children had a lot of fun sleighing down the snow slopes and building small snowmans and making snowballs.

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Inside Snow Town. That’s about 50% of the entire place in the picture. It isn’t very big…

After that, it was dinner at Tim Ho Wan. After dinner, we decided that it was getting late and our family took a taxi back to hotel while the other 2 families continued shopping.

That night, after the kids went to bed, Dear2 and I sneaked out for a Thai massage nearby while brother helped to look after the kids. It was nice to go out for a walk, just the two of us. On the way back to hotel, we bought a stick of ice-cream from 7-Eleven. That would be the worst decision of our trip.

Day 4

By 3am, I was feeling sick. I knew that it would develop into stomach flu. It did. Dear2 started feeling sick in the morning, around 7am.

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Our medicine. Haiz… -_-

We call the hotel lobby and arranged to go to the hospital. At the hospital, the doctor gave us anti-flu and anti-biotics. We would both feel so sick that we slept in for the whole day. Thankfully, brother was there to help out with the kids.

Baby1 and Baby2 were so sweet and sensible to stay in room with us and played quietly on her own.

During the evening, brother brought Baby1 to meet up with the rest of the cousins as they went ice skating and dinner. Baby2 stayed in with us.

Day 5

Luckily, Dear2 and I felt well enough to travel by morning. We packed up and got ready to set off for the airport. We took a tuk-tuk to Rathchaprarop station and off we went to the airport. At the airport, we bought a packet of mango sticky rice and some fresh mangoes too. It was something we had wanted to try but had not seen throughout our trip. It was delicious.

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If the mango sticky rice at the airport tastes this good, I can only imagine how heavenly street food mango sticky rice would be.

We got home, unpacked, and continued resting to nurse of stomach flu. And that was the end of our trip.

After thoughts

As with our previous trips, I brought my waist pouch as my day bag. However, this trip, I noticed that my waist pouch was causing me lower backaches. This was because the waist pouch loosens easily and hang down from my waist. Also, the waist pouch was quite heavy due to the passports in it. I may have to seriously consider a new travel day bag.

It was really unfortunate that we fell sick during the trip. But it was not the first time it had happened either. I fell sick during our Hong Kong trip too. As always, we were covered by travel insurance, but nothing can bring back the lost travel time.

I suspected the ice-cream, but the time frame doesn’t quite fit. Because stomach flu required an incubation period, so it could be anything from several days earlier. But we shared most of the food with the children. Luckily, the children didn’t get the stomach flu! So, this is also a reminder of our food hygiene, and that we really shouldn’t be sharing food with the children. Prevention is better than cure.

I don’t know if I will want to travel with the cousins next time. The itinerary really wasn’t very interesting and wasn’t very optimal. Maybe if I do travel with them again, I should take up the responsibilities of being the trip planner.

Then there is the group dynamics. We tend towards street food but the others tend towards familiar well-known restaurants. Others want to spend a whole day on shopping while we prefer experiences. Furthermore, it was a little difficult at times to move as a large group and eat as a large group.

I guess I’m still happiest with we travel as our family of 4, just like our recently Cruise to Shanghai!

Our total spending was $1664.89 (air tickets) + $483.36 (hotel) + $712.68 (local spending) + $148.29 (prepaid day trip + travel insurance) = $3009.22. Or $752.305 per pax for 5D4N. Wow, not cheap. Oh well, forced by circumstances, not many avenues for optimization.

Overall, this trip fulfilled some goals for me. It was my first trip to Bangkok that I can remember. It was our first “special event day” (Christmas) spent overseas.

We discovered Baby2 has a tremendous liking for Kit-Kats!

-Dear1

Our Scooba 390

Mopping is a tiring task. We mop our floor once a month, on the first weekend of every month. To some, once a month is far too little. Some families mop once a week! And maybe that’s true. By the end of the month, the floor does feel a little sticky, even with Roomba vacuuming the floor every weekday.

It actually doesn’t take very long to mop our house. Our house can be easily divided into 4 zones – living room, adult bedroom, children bedroom, and kitchen. It takes about 1 pail of water to mop each room, so that’s 4 pails in total. The mopping of the whole house can be completed in 1 hour.

We started off with the traditional mop, the one where the operator has to wring the mop head dry each time. It was difficult to mop because of the numerous bending down. It was also difficult because the hands and palms will get wet each time.

Some time later, we bought the spin mop. The spin mop has the advantage that the wringing of the mop head is handle by the built in spinning mechanism, which can be operated standing upright. So that meant no more bending down and no more wet hands. It was definitely much easier.

However, to someone tall like me, mopping is still a back breaking task. I would always have to bend over to operate the mop. Once, I tried using a longer mop pole handle. It did help a little, but the long pole handle made it difficult to maneuver around our little house.

Ever since we bought our Roomba, we have always eyed the Scooba. But it was a little expensive. Several months ago, we made up our mind – yes, we will get a Scooba. It will save us a lot of energy, and a lot of time, so we can better spend this time and energy with our loved ones. We just have to wait for a sale.

And a sale did arrive for Christmas. We bought our Scooba 390 in December 2015 @ $758. Delivery was prompt and we received our Scooba the next day.

We eagerly set it up and let it run. It’s first run was in the kitchen. It was rather cool. Our floor was being mopped and we didn’t have to lift a finger. Well, sort of. We still have to load the detergent and clean water and unload the dirty water when it was done.

After the first run, I went to empty the dirty water. It was a very dark shade of gray. I was amazed, both at how dirty our kitchen was and how great Scooba was. The floor was just a bit damp and dried up quickly within the next 5-10 minutes.

Over the next few days, we let the Scooba run for many more times. The living rooms and bedrooms wasn’t quite as dirty. However, the kitchen took about 4 runs before the dirty water turn much less murky.

I boasted to Dear2, “I mopped the floor twice today! Wuahaha…”

We can definitely feel the difference with our feet. The floor feels more squeaky and clean. Now, we can afford to mop the floor weekly instead of monthly. Yeah… I think Scooba is a wonderful additional to our home.

  1. Saves time
  2. Saves energy
  3. Saves water (yes, it uses so little water)
  4. Cleaner floor, better hygiene
  5. No more backaches

We would still let Roomba run first to pick up all the hair and dust before letting Scooba scrub and mop the floor. I think robotic cleaners are matured enough as a household companion and I would definitely recommend every household to get one.

It is well worth the money.

-Dear1